Turkey appoints new ambassador to Netherlands

Turkey and the Netherlands re-appointed ambassadors on Friday in line with a joint decision to normalise relations, Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

The two countries are in the process of mending their ties following a 2017 diplomatic row over Turkish government’s efforts to run referendum campaign in the Netherlands, during which Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu was denied access to the country to carry out a rally.

Turkey’s new Ambassador to the Netherlands is Şaban Dişli, former deputy head of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Dişli was sidelined from the AKP, after his brother, a general of Turkish Armed Forces, was detained for participating in a coup attempt in 2016.

Turkey blames Gülen movement, a religious group, of orchestrating the failed coup, in which Major General Mehmet Dişli was allegedly a member of a committee established to assume Turkey’s rule after overthrowing the government.

Şaban Dişli was later excluded from the AKP’s executive board, but appointed as an advisor to party’s headquarters. However, he resigned almost two months later, citing negative comments made about his new position within the AKP and on social media.

“I am bewildered. I think the reason for my confusion is me just realising my own naiveté,” ex-politician Nesrin Nas said on Friday, commenting on the news of Şaban Dişli appointed as ambassador. 

In 2008, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu accused Şaban Dişli of accepting a bribe of one million dollars in exchange for facilitating a construction permit granted to a Turkish contractor. Dişli consequently resigned from his posts and stayed away from the politics for number of years.